Articles about "Court reporting"


Scales of Justice sits in a courtroom.

How to cover a court trial: 6 tips for journalists

As newsrooms continue to contract, some media outlets have been criticized for their diminishing coverage of the courts, including high-profile trials. As journalists move to other beats or leave their newsrooms, their institutional knowledge about how to cover trials … Read more

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Judges Gavel

6 tips for reporters tracking state legal cases

Newsrooms across the country have been hemorrhaging staff for more than a decade. They’ve had to cut back on major areas of coverage, including investigative reporting and another important beat: court reporting.

Today, reporters might be dispatched to cover … Read more

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Kermit Gosnell verdict reached, but reporters told to turn off phones

Facebook The Philadelphia Inquirer announced just before 2:30 p.m. that a verdict had been reached in the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor accused of killing four babies born alive and an adult patient. Jurors have been deliberating for 10 days. The paper announced on its Facebook page:
There is a verdict in the Gosnell case, court personnel have told Inquirer reporter John P. Martin. Extra sheriff's deputies have been ordered into the courtroom, which is now locked. Reporters have been told to shut down their phones.
It's unclear if requiring phones to be turned off is a routine occurrence. During the Jerry Sandusky trial, Judge John M. Cleland initially said phones had to be turned off, but later allowed them to be used for live-tweeting and live-blogging. Inquirer reporter John P. Martin's twitter feed is here.
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West Virginia judge’s suspension shows need for cameras in courtrooms

The National Law Journal | WSAZ
Poynter's Al Tompkins has written for years about why courtrooms should allow cameras during proceedings. This week, some news from West Virginia helps make his case further:

The West Virginia Supreme Court on March 26 suspended Putnam County, W.Va., Family Court Judge William Watkins III without pay until December 2016, citing 24 violations of the state's judicial ethics rules.

The justices said that, while in court, Watkins shouted profanities at people and threatened litigants. On one occasion, he called a woman seeking a protective order against her husband "stupid," they said. He told her to shut up and criticized her for "shooting off [her] fat mouth about what happened."
One YouTube video of Watkins yelling at litigants last May has racked up more than 200,000 views. (more...)
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Supreme Court Building

Why the Supreme Court should allow TV cameras in the courtroom

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments about the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. Yesterday, the court considered whether states can ban same-sex marriage.

You can read tweets about these historic hearings … Read more

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supremecourt1

Why it’s so hard for SCOTUSblog to get Supreme Court press credentials

SCOTUSblog has gotten widespread attention in recent weeks for its accurate and detailed coverage of the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act and the mistakes CNN and Fox News made while covering it.

Despite high reach and widespread Read more

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Abrams warned of media mistakes before Supreme Court ruling

ABC News Legal Analyst Dan Abrams expected that news organizations might incorrectly interpret the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

“Beware of #media mistakes on #ACA ruling,” he tweeted at 7 a.m. this morning. “I remember … Read more

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CNN issues correction, Fox issues statement on Supreme Court reporting mistakes

The ruling has come down: Both CNN and Fox badly bungled their reporting of today's landmark Supreme Court opinion on healthcare. And both organizations have taken very different routes to correcting their mistakes.

Here's Fox's correction, via Mediaite:
We gave our viewers the news as it happened. When Justice Roberts said, and we read, that the mandate was not valid under the Commerce clause, we reported it. Bill Hemmer even added, be patient as we work through this. Then when we heard and read, that the mandate could be upheld under the government’s power to tax, we reported that as well—all within two minutes.

By contrast, one other cable network was unable to get their Supreme Court reporter to the camera, and said as much. Another said it was a big setback for the President. Fox reported the facts, as they came in.
And here's CNN's:
In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts initially said that the individual mandate was not a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. CNN reported that fact, but then wrongly reported that therefore the court struck down the mandate as unconstitutional. However, that was not the whole of the Court’s ruling. CNN regrets that it didn't wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate. We made a correction within a few minutes and apologize for the error.
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Who was first with healthcare ruling depends on where you were looking

Forget the war going on between AP, CNN and Fox over the latter outlets' botched announcement of Thursday's Supreme Court ruling -- a much more important battle rages in the mediasphere.

On Wednesday, SCOTUSblog reporter Lyle Denniston told The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff that "our number one ambition is to beat everybody” with news of the ruling. SCOTUSblog's publisher, Tom Goldstein, said his ambition was to beat AP:
“The TV people out front literally won’t have it for about two minutes,” SCOTUSblog publisher and co-founder Tom Goldstein said. “After they hand it to Lyle, I expect 25 seconds after that, we’ll have it on the live blog. I would be surprised if the Associated Press can beat us.”
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CNN, Fox News err in covering Supreme Court health care ruling

The Supreme Court announced its ruling on the Affordable Care Act around 10:15 a.m. ET. CNN, which has been suffering in the ratings, and Fox both mistakenly reported that the individual mandate was struck down. Screenshots show the mistake and the subsequent change. Meanwhile, editor David Scott has told journalists at the AP to "stop taunting on social networks" about the mistakes. About 90 minutes after making the errors, CNN issued a correction that says it "regrets that it didn't wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate." Fox later released a statement about its coverage. || Related: CNN memo: "We are not the story. The story is the story.” | Abrams warned of media mistakes before Supreme Court ruling | Justice Ginsburg cites Washington Post reporter in health care decision | Who was first with healthcare ruling depends on where you were looking | How SCOTUSblog prepared for today’s health care ruling
CNN reported on the air and online that the individual mandate was struck down, however that is not what the Supreme Court ruled. (Screenshot by C.W. Anderson)
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